Welcome to Hartwood

Update for 5/2/2016

Monday

Today wasn't that eventful.  We did our normal p-day stuff, went and goofed around in Walmart for a while and did laundry and stuff then I packed all my stuff up for transfers.  Tonight we went and said goodbye to Big T, Kendra, and Cindy.  They're so awesome and we had a good night talking and stuff.  Leaving Burkeville is going to be tough because the Lord has blessed me so much here, but I guess it's time for a new adventure.

Elder Larson, Elder Thalman, Big T, Kendra and Cindy

Elder Larson, Elder Thalman, Big T, Kendra and Cindy

Tuesday

Today was transfers.  Woke up and finished packing and got the last of my stuff together then went to the barber shop and got my hair cut then we went back to the apartment and met Brother Thompson and went to the transfer meeting in Richmond.

My life in 3 bags

My life in 3 bags

So here's the big news.  I am serving in the Hartwood ward (which is north of Fredericksburg) with Elder Edwards.  He's from Lehi, Utah and has been out like 11 months.  It’s pretty funny because everyone asks us if we knew each other before we came out(which we didn't).

So I drove up north with another elder then we both met our new companions up here since they were both already serving in nearby areas.  Elder Edwards and I are being shotgunned in again, for those of you who don't know the missionary lingo we're both going to be new to the area.  So this will be my 3rd area and my third time shotgunned.

So we got here and unpacked a little so we could change out of our suits and then we had a lesson that we went and tried seeing but it ended up canceling on us, go figure.  So after that we just kinda went around and knocked on some potential investigators doors.  We were both a little lost so the first day was kind of a blur.

Wednesday

Today was still kind of just getting to know the area and tracting around a little bit.  We did get to meet one of the members, Del.  He's great and loves having the missionaries over.  He builds model planes, motorcycles, and cars and has tons of them around his house so it was cool looking at all of them and talking to him about them.  But we went over and talked to him a little bit and it was fun.

After dinner we met a couple other members who actually have a son serving in the Pocatello, Idaho mission so it was really fun to talk to them.  Besides that, we didn't really have a ton of lessons today or anything.  The area here is great, we have some of the city, but then also a little bit of the back roads and woods.  Everyone keeps telling us the ward is pretty big which is a change from my last area.  But so far I love it here just as much as my last areas.

Thursday

So it was raining like all day today and the only lesson we had scheduled canceled on us.  So we tracted for most of the day which was alright.  It's interesting to knock doors here because during the day there is like nobody home.  Almost everyone here is a commuter for somewhere else and so they all get up really early and don't get back till late at night.  But it was a good day and we got some people that said we could come back and see them.

Towards the end of the night we did have one lesson with a kid about my age named Chaz.  He was really interested in the Book of Mormon and got really pumped when we gave him one and told him he could keep it.  I think it's so cool when people see the Book of Mormon and think that it could be scripture instead of just having the bible!

Friday

So this morning we went out and tracted for a while, didn't really talk to anyone except this Baptist guy who was not going to listen to us and just believed that if we are following God and Christ we are all going on the right path.  It was fine haha, it's funny the people you find on some of the little back roads here in Virginia.  He was so sincere but at the same time telling us we were on the wrong path.

After that we went and had lunch then went and saw a list of potentials that we had planned out.  The only one we really talked to was actually a member who was baptized almost a year ago.  He was a "dry Mormon" for about 16 years and then decided to make the decision to be baptized.  It was really fun talking to him and his wife.

After that we had an interesting lesson with a guy named Danny.  Danny is a marine at Quantico and is from Boise.  He's a little older than us and has been studying with the missionaries for a while, but he knows a TON about Mormons.  He is very, very smart on religion and knows soooo much be basically taught the lesson to us.  We talked to him for like 90 min and he explained what he believed and we talked about some things he didn't quite understand.  Really his problem isn't that he doesn't understand what we believe, he just believes in different things.  But he basically believes what we do just with some different perspectives.  It's really deep and a lot of things having to do with the Trinity and the things we believe and know about the time after this life.  Honestly though Danny would have such an easier time believing if he had more faith.  He's too logical and just needs to leave some of it up to faith.  Really good lesson though.

Saturday

So more tracting this morning, haha  It's nice though because we have apartment complexes in our area so we don't have to walk too much.  We were able to hand out a Book of Mormon to a lady and her son who were pretty skeptical at first but then I think the spirit worked on them a little and they opened up.  They might need a little time but I think they could be great investigators.

After lunch we had a lesson with Richard.  He's been studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons for a while and is having a hard time deciding.  He got really deep into the Old Testament and is really hung up on some things that in the scheme of things don't matter to our time.  It was tough for me because I know they do matter and it's good to understand them but I wanted to be polite.  But we just told him that if he has enough faith and prays and keeps studying with us God will give him the answer.

After dinner we went and met our ward mission leader at his house.  They have 3 boys and he's the hardest worker ever!  He's super excited about missionary work and has a lot of good plans for the ward and getting some of the less active members back.  He seems like a great guy and will do anything for the missionaries.  The meeting was good and we just kinda got familiarized with the ward more.

After that we only had like 20 min so we went and tracted an apartment building where we found Steven.  He's Catholic but knows about Mormons too.  At first it was like 10 min of straight of just bashing back and forth, arguing about who's right, but then we found a nook and started teaching him instead of bashing and it turned out to be a really good lesson.  The Catholics are really strong in their faith and we always say "Catholics make the best Mormons" but I think Steven is going to be awesome as long as he can listen to us and feel the spirit.  It was kind of a cool little miracle.

Sunday

So today was church, the first time in our new ward.  It was actually pretty good and the ward seems awesome.  It was really weird being in a big ward now and not a branch so that was different.  The classes were really good and it was a really good fast and testimony meeting too.  It seems like we're going to do really well in this ward.  Then we came home and got changed and stuff and went out tracting.  It was actually pretty productive and we got like 3 return appointments set up to come back and talk to people.  We were only able to do that for a bit then went to our dinner appointment.

After our dinner appointment we went and saw some less active people.  The only one that we had a lesson with was a guy and his older son (like 60 and 30ish) that haven't come to church in a while but still do pretty much everything they're supposed to.  It was so strange because we went to the house and they have pics of Christ and the temples and tons of stuff like that all over their walls and they were the nicest ever but they just don't come to church.  So we talked to them about the "small and simple things" we need to do to keep our faith strong.  They're really nice and I hope we can get them active again.

So far I love it here in Hartwood, the people are great and the area is great.  Hopefully we can get to know the area and just get things rolling even better.  Till next week y'all! Love ya!

Elder Larson